Linda Douglass

Vice President for Strategic Communications, Atlantic Media

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Why She Matters

Most reporters joke that going into public relations is akin to joining the 'dark side,' but Douglass doesn't see it that way.

The award-winning journalist became a top aide to the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama, travelling with the candidate and serving as his public face on the road. With her close connections to reporters and talent for translating message to news, Douglass was a key asset to the communications staff.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: Director of Communications, Health and Human Services Office of Health Reform (Since May 2009) ; Member of Barack Obama's Presidential Inaugural Committee (November 2008 to January 2009); Obama campaign aide (May 2008 to Nov. 2008); National Journal, reporter and radio host (2007 to May 2008); Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, fellow, (2006)
  • Hometown: California
  • Alma Mater: University of Southern California
  • Spouse: John Philips
  • Office: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201
  • Web site

Path to Power

California native Douglass attended college at the University of Southern California.

She started her journalism career as a researcher at a Los Angeles TV news channel in 1973. From there, she moved to a position as political editor in 1975, a job she held for five years. She took a job as CBS's Los Angeles correspondent in 1981.

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The Issues

At the White House Office of Health Reform, Douglass helped win the messaging war on Obama's overhaul of the American health-care system.

After it was signed into law, Douglass helped sell the plan, ensuring that Americans understood changes to the system, such as a new national exchange on which consumers can buy insurance.

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The Network

As a former reporter, Douglass has ties to many top reporters and personalities, including reporters at ABC, CBS, the Atlantic Media Group and most other major news outlets.

At the White House Office of Health Reform, Dougleass works closely with Nancy-Ann DeParle and her deputy, Lauren Aronson.

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